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Zinc-Finger Nucleases Induced by HIV-1 Tat Excise HIV-1 from the Host Genome in Infected and Latently Infected Cells.


ABSTRACT: Highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) cannot clear infected cells harboring HIV-1 proviral DNA from HIV-1-infected patients. We previously demonstrated that zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) can specifically and efficiently excise HIV-1 proviral DNA from latently infected human T cells by targeting long terminal repeats (LTRs), a novel and alternative antiretroviral strategy for eradicating HIV-1 infection. To prevent unwanted off-target effects from constantly expressed ZFNs, in this study, we engineered the expression of ZFNs under the control of HIV-1 LTR, by which ZFN expression can be activated by the HIV-1 (Trans-Activator of Transcription) Tat protein. Our results show that functional expression of ZFNs induced by Tat excise the integrated proviral DNA of HIV-NL4-3-eGFP in approximately 30% of the population of HIV-1-infected cells. The results from HIV-1-infected human primary T cells and latently infected T cells treated with the inducible ZFNs further validated that proviral DNA can be excised. Taken together, positively regulated expression of ZFNs in the presence of HIV-1 Tat may provide a safer and novel implementation of genome-editing technology for eradicating HIV-1 proviral DNA from infected host cells.

SUBMITTER: Ji H 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6023959 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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